MIAMI (CBSMiami) - South Florida businessman Maximo Alvarez gave an emotional speech during the opening night of the Republican National Convention on Monday.
Alvarez, the President of Sunshine Gasoline Distributors, said that it is "up to us to decide our fate, and to choose freedom over oppression."
Here is the text of his speech:
"My name is Maximo Alvarez. I'm speaking to you today from my home in South Florida -------not far from the Straits of Florida -- which isn't just a 90-mile wide blue strip on a map for me. It divides freedom ------from fear. It divides the past -----from the future.
I know all about the past—I'll never forget my own. My family has fled totalitarianism and communism. And more than once. First from Spain, then from Cuba.
But my family is done leaving. By the grace of God, I have lived the American dream—the greatest blessing I've ever had. My dad, who only had a sixth-grade education told me, "don't lose this place. You'll never be as lucky as me."
I'm speaking to you today because my family is done leaving places. There is nowhere left to go.
I'm speaking to you today because President Trump may not always care about being polite ----but all the far left cares about is power. Power for them ------ not for us.
I'm speaking to you today because I've seen people like this before. I've seen movements like this before. I've seen ideas like this before and I'm here to tell you, we cannot let them take over our country.
I heard the promises of Fidel Castro. And I can never forget all those who grew up around me, who looked like me, who could have been me, who suffered and starved and died because they believed those empty promises.
Go to Freedom Tower in Miami. Stop to listen and you can still hear the sound of those promises being broken. It is the sound of waves in the ocean, carrying families clinging to pieces of wood, families with children who can't swim, but willing to risk everything to reach this blessed land. It is the sound of tears hitting the paper of an application for American citizenship.
They heard the empty promises and they know the reality. Look at them. Listen to them. Learn the truth. Those false promises—spread the wealth, defund the police, trust a socialist state more than your family and community— don't sound radical to my ears. They sound familiar.
When Fidel Castro was asked if he was a communist, he said he was a Roman Catholic-------- He knew he had to hide the truth. But the country I was born in is gone – destroyed. When I watch the news in Seattle and Chicago and Portland, when I see history being rewritten, when I hear the promises—I hear echoes of a former life I never wanted to hear again. I see shadows I thought I had outrun.
My parents only wanted one person to decide my fate—me. Not some party member, not some government official, not some bureaucrat ----- in America, I would decide my own future.
I am so grateful to America, the place where I was able to build my American dream through hard work and determination. President Trump knows that the American story was written by people just like you and me, who love our country and take risks to build a future for our families and neighbors.
I may be Cuban born, but I am 100 percent American. This is the greatest country in the world. If I gave away everything I have today, it would not equal 1 percent of what I was given when I came to this great country: The gift of Freedom.
Right now - It is up to us to decide our fate and to choose freedom over oppression.
President Trump is fighting against the forces of socialism, communism, and totalitarianism. And he will continue to do just that. And what about his opponent and the rest of the DC swamp? I have no doubt they will hand the country over to those dangerous forces.
You and I will decide. And here is what I've decided: I choose President Trump because I choose America."
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